The nation is all atwitter over Michele Bachmann. Not only did she thoroughly corn-poll Iowa this past Saturday -- winning the state's straw poll over Smucker's jam spokesman Ron Paul -- but also the congresswoman claimed the scalp of fellow Minnesotan conservative Tim Pawlenty.
Bachmann's surge is particularly significant in Florida, the nation's largest swing state, which might very well host the nation's first Republican primary next year.
But despite the recent Bachmania, there is just no way in hell Michele will flash those steely gray eyes and sweet victory smile in the Sunshine State. Here's why.
5. South Florida is just too gay.
Michele Bachmann thinks gay people lead "sad," "Satanic" lives. In 2004, she infamously said:
If you're involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it's bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement. And that's why this is so dangerous. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders.
Well, South Florida is home to one of the nation's largest LGBT communities. Bachmann's habit of likening their sexual orientation to slavery or sickness won't win her many votes.
If that wasn't enough to write off the gay vote, Bachmann's husband is George Rekers all over again: an über-Christian who claims to know more about gays than they do. His "clinic," Bachmann & Associates, engages in controversial and possibly psychologically damaging pray-the-gay-away therapy. Marcus Bachmann is on tape calling gays "barbarians" who "need to be educated."
4. No habla español.
Unlike Texan Rick Perry, Bachmann doesn't bother with mangled Spanish. She couldn't order a cortadito at Versailles to save her life. In fact, she wants to straight-up ban Miami's predominant language, at least when it comes to the government. Beginning in 2007, Bachmann introduced legislation to make English the official language of the United States. Oh, and she believes in Arizona-style immigration laws for all states.
3. Dropping F-idel bombs:
Cuban-Americans don't like communism -- something having to do with that Fidel character back in Havana. But they also don't like people from Minnesota trivializing the shit they went through when they fled the island more than 50 years ago. And like Glenn Beck with different gonads, Bachmann is an expert at overly dramatic, misleading comparisons.
"What the Obama administration will do with health care is make us like Havana in 1959, when Castro came in," Bachmann said during the health-care debate. "In other words, no private health insurance company will be able to write another health insurance policy once the government takeover comes into place."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Miami Cubans aren't all fans of Obama, but when people have lived through an actual government takeover, how much patience will they have for Bachmann's hysterics?
2. Not your grandpa's conservative:
But octogenarians aren't exactly going to turn out in force for Michele Bachmann. She's not your grandpa's conservative candidate. For proof, look no further than a recent edition of old-people-newspaper the Wall Street Journal:
Winning a straw poll of activists is a long way from persuading voters she has the experience and judgment to sit in the Oval Office. (Libertarian Ron Paul, who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second.) Mrs. Bachmann has a record of errant statements (see Battle of Lexington and Concord, history of) that are forgiven by Fox Nation but won't be if she makes them as a GOP standard-bearer.
More substantively, her attempt to position herself at all times as the anti-establishment outsider has made her seem on occasion less principled than opportunistic. She quickly distanced herself from Paul Ryan's Medicare reform when it came under liberal fire, even as she purports to be the scourge of uncontrolled spending. Her recent opposition to the debt-ceiling deal on grounds that GOP leaders should have insisted on first passing a balanced budget amendment, while holding only the House, was a political fantasy.
1. We already have one lidless Republican wonder:
At the end of the day, there is only enough room for one unblinking, skull-like Tea Party robot in our Florida hearts, and his name is Rick Scott. Slick Rick is everything that Bachmann pretends to be: a capitalist zealot, a ruthless government-shrinking machine, and a guy so conservative he'd rather gnaw off his hand than shake Obama's.
So, sorry, Michele Bachmann. But Florida isn't swinging your way in 2012, and neither is the presidency.